Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Friday tasked an independent politicaian with forming an emergency government expected to replace the Hamas-led cabinet within days.
"The president charged Salam Fayyad with forming the new government," Abbas advisor Hikmat Zeid told AFP in the West Bank city of Ramallah, after Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in a bloody armed take over.
Abbas' move to name the former finance minister was dismissed by Hamas as a "coup against legitimacy and a transgression of all laws".
Fayyad was finance minister in the outgoing national unity government and is widely respected in the West for past attempts to bring greater transparency to Palestinian finances and fight corruption.
Under the Palestinian law, the president has the power to fire the government and appoint an emergency cabinet in its place for a one-time renewable period of one month that does not require approval from parliament. "We call on Mahmud Abbas to go back on his decision and we urge Salam Fayyad to reject his illegal nomination," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.